[Avodah] Esther and the King

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Wed Feb 27 11:06:20 PST 2013

On Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 12:33:04PM -0600, Lisa Liel wrote:
>>                    At the time of the Purim story, the pesaq that there
>> were ONLY three mitzvos that were YVY wasn't yet concretized. In Seifer
>> Makkabiim we learn that the Chassidim haRishonim wouldn't fight a war
>> on Shabbos.
> I don't believe your analysis of Sefer Maccabim is correct.  Mattitiyahu  
> didn't say, "From now on, people need to fight."  He said, "We need to  
> all learn how to use weapons so that we'll be able to fight." ...

First a correction. Those who refused to fight were not the Chassidim
haRishonim, but a different group.

Other than Matisyahu mourning for those killed before they decided it
was mutar to fight, I do not see him involved in the story at all.
Pardon me for quoting a Xian translation, but there aren't any Jewish
ones. 1 Mac 2:29-41:

    [29] At that time many who sought righteousness and justice went
    out into the wilderness to settle there,
    [30] they and their children, their wives and their animals, because
    misfortunes pressed so hard on them.
    [31] It was reported to the officers and soldiers of the king who
    were in the City of David, in Jerusalem, that those who had flouted
    the king's order had gone out to secret refuges in the wilderness.
    [32] Many hurried out after them, and having caught up with them,
    camped opposite and prepared to attack them on the sabbath.
    [33] The pursuers said to them, "Enough of this! Come out and obey
    the king's command, and you will live."
    [34] But they replied, "We will not come out, nor will we obey the
    king's command to profane the sabbath."
    [35] Then the enemy attacked them at once. 
    [36] But they did not retaliate; they neither threw stones, nor
    blocked up their secret refuges.
    [37] They said, "Let us all die in innocence; heaven and earth are
    our witnesses that you destroy us unjustly."
    [38] So the officers and soldiers attacked them on the sabbath,
    and they died with their wives, their children and their animals,
    to the number of a thousand persons.
    [39] When Mattathias and his friends heard of it, they mourned deeply
    for them.
    [40] They said to one another, "If we all do as our kindred have done,
    and do not fight against the Gentiles for our lives and our laws,
    they will soon destroy us from the earth."
    [41] So on that day they came to this decision: "Let us fight against
    anyone who attacks us on the sabbath, so that we may not all die as
    our kindred died in their secret refuges."

Interestingly, the Chassidim are described very differently in the
next verse:

    [42] Then they were joined by a group of Hasideans, mighty warriors
    of Israel, all of them devoted to the law.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Nearly all men can stand adversity,
micha at aishdas.org        but if you want to test a man's character,
http://www.aishdas.org   give him power.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                      -Abraham Lincoln

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